The lawyer for controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was reprimanded by the judge in the Sandy Hook defamation case Thursday as he made his closing arguments.
The Infowars host, 48, is currently on trial for spreading the lie that the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 26 people were killed — mostly children — was staged by the government.
Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis was reminding the jury to apply the law dispassionately when he told them that plaintiffs’ attorney representing the parents of some of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, Josh Koskoff, would attack him personally during his rebuttal.
“No lawyer in Connecticut or anywhere else can walk into this courtroom and expect anything but derision,” Mr. Pattis said.
‘And I will be attacked by Mr. Koskoff in his contradiction to me. It will be ‘Mr. Pattis it,” “Mr. Pattis this,’ all in an attempt to make you angry,’ Pattis said.
Judge Barbara Bellis quickly cut him off to reprimand the attorney for singling out Mr. Kostoff.
‘Please refrain from further personal attacks or comments about the plaintiffs’ lawyers or their law firm. It is very incorrect. Let’s move on, she said.
Judge Barbara Bellis suspended attorney Norm Pattis for making ‘highly inappropriate’ personal attacks against plaintiffs’ attorney Josh Koskoff, who represented the parents of some of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre
Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, argued that Koskoff wanted to attack him personally in his closing remarks to “wake up” the jury and make them mad
Jones has already lost this lawsuit by default, and the jury is simply deciding how much he will pay out to the victims’ families
‘You are talking about the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs’ case. I don’t want to hear it again’.
After Pattis finished her closing arguments, Bellis brought up the incident again when she addressed the jury before they broke for lunch.
“One thing I feel compelled to say,” she began. ‘I don’t like to interject myself … but the court will not tolerate any personal attacks on lawyers.’
“Certainly the evidence can be commented on and arguments can be made, but there will be no personal attacks on Attorney Koskoff or Attorney Pattis or any attorney in my courtroom. It is my job to control the cases … and so I will continue to control the cases in that direction,” Bellis said.
The exchange marked the closing statements for the trial — Jones’ second over his false claims that the school massacre was a hoax — and the jury is now deliberating.
Jones has already lost this lawsuit by default, and the jury is simply deciding how much he will pay to the victims’ families.
The deliberations come after a three-week trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, not far from where a gunman killed 20 young children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
Jurors were sent home after an hour of deliberations on Thursday and will resume on Friday.
It is the second trial in weeks over the same case, after Jones was ordered by a Texas jury to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one of the children killed.
For years, Jones has faced lawsuits over his false claims that the massacre was staged by the government as part of a plot to disarm Americans.
When he arrived at the Waterbury courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 21, he engaged in a full-scale meltdown outside the courthouse, claiming that he has been apologizing for the comments for years and that they should be protected by the First Amendment.
When he arrived in court in Connecticut on Wednesday, embattled InfoWars host Alex Jones engaged in a full-scale meltdown outside the courthouse, arguing that he has been apologizing for the comments for years and that they should be protected by the First Amendment.
“As an American, I have a right to question something,” Jones told reporters outside court, growing red in the face as he made his statement. “I said things that were hurtful and not true,” he admitted. ‘As an American I am right.’
The flush from the radio personality – who ballooned to pseudo-stardom during the 2016 election – also saw him accuse prosecutors to use his trial ‘to go after the First Amendment.’
The following day, a lawyer for the victims’ families, Chris Mattei, sought in court to double down on the effect his false statements had on those who lost loved ones.
He showed the court a tearful video statement of Robbie Parker taken the night after his daughter, Emilie, was killed in the shooting.
“These are real people, you know that Mr. Jones?” Mattei asked the conspiracy theorist as he sat on the witness stand.
But Jones seemed unfazed, saying: ‘Just like all the Iraqis you liberals killed and loved.
“It’s unbelievable,” he added. ‘You turn emotions on and off when you want. It’s like an ambulance chase’.
By then, things were heating up in the courtroom, and Mattei asked Jones, ‘Why don’t you want to show some respect?’ over the objections of Infowars’ host attorney, Norm Pattis.
Still, Mattei continued, saying, ‘You have families in here that lost children, sisters, wives, mothers,’ to which Jones asked, ‘Is this a fight session? Are we in China?’
He went on to claim that he has apologized ‘100 times’ to the parents, ‘and I’m done saying I’m sorry.
‘I rightly thought it might be staged. I stand by that. I will not apologize for that.’
In the past, Jones has also said that liberals used the shooting to try to repeal the Second Amendment.
In closing arguments earlier Thursday, attorneys for the families of eight Sandy Hook victims said Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, cashed in on lies about the shooting for years that drove traffic to his Infowars website and sales of products there.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went on a rant about ‘liberals’ who can ‘turn their emotions on and off’ at his Sandy Hook hoax trial on Thursday
A parent walks away from Sandy Hook Elementary School with her children after a shooting at the school in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012
Veronique De La Rosa, mother of Noah Pozner, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, wipes away tears during a news conference in Trumbull, Connecticut on February 15, 2022
The families, meanwhile, endured a decade-long campaign of harassment and death threats from Jones’ supporters, attorney Chris Mattei said.
“Every single one of these families was drowning in grief and Alex Jones put his foot right on top of them,” plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Mattei told jurors.
Jones’ attorney, Norman Pattis, countered during his closing argument that the plaintiffs had shown scant evidence of quantifiable losses. Pattis urged jurors to ignore the political undercurrents in the case.
“This is not a matter of politics, I remind you,” he said. ‘It’s about how much to compensate the plaintiffs.’
The trial was punctuated by weeks of painful testimony from the families, who filled the gallery each day and took turns recounting how Jones’ lies about Sandy Hook compounded their grief. An FBI agent who responded to the shooting is also a plaintiff in the suit.
Jones, who has since admitted the shooting took place, also testified and briefly threw the trial into chaos when he railed against his ‘liberal’ critics and refused to apologize to the families.
In August, another jury found that Jones and his company must pay $49.3 million to Sandy Hook parents in a similar case in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based.
Jones’ attorneys hope to void most of the payout before it is approved by a judge, calling it excessive under Texas law.
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